On paper, it sounds like a cultural commercial dream. Vice, one of the hippest free magazines on the planet, partnered with a with the forward thinking computer chip giant, Intel, for a creative fiesta and one hell of a free piss-up. Comparing itself to 1920’s Paris, when modernism was in full flow from a fascination with the futurist machine, The Creators Project is collaboration between artists, musicians, programmers, thinkers; anyone fascinated and empowered by all that is electric. The event should have been an extravaganza of entertainment and enlightenment and by day the artistic merits of the show succeeded this promise. But by night, when an array of over-blogged bands and DJ’s descended onto Victoria house, the event turned into a nightmarish episode of Nathan Barley.
The Creators Project was born as an online community in 2008, conceived around the idea that the advancement of technology in the 21st century has allowed anyone to log in and upload their content to share with the world, anywhere in the world. Enter Vice and Intel, looking to snag fasionistas craving apples like Eve. A year later and the group celebrated their efforts with two parties in Leon and Paris. Today, the project has grown to five parties with the first in New York last month, last weekend’s event in London, before descending on Seoul, Sau Paulo and Beijing.
Visually the show confirmed that we are still living nostalgically in the 80’s, as the re-programmed NES games were nostalgically 8-bit, the VJ loops loud and garish, with the boys rocking quiffs like extras from the Lost Boys and the girls looking more crack whore than Madonna post sex. Musically London got the bum deal, New York got MIA and we got Tinchy Stryder. Yuck were good but unappreciated by the too-savvy-to-smile audience, yet went ecstatic when Mark Ronson arselickingly exclaimed for the millionth time that they were the ‘best audience ever’. Either the free bar had hit them, or I really don’t understand the formula of cool.
The main issue with the event was the misleading nature of the line-up. The website boasted everyone involved with the whole project including musical museos like Diplo, James Lavelle, Matthew Herbert, CSS, Animal Collective and many more, but it wasn’t clear only certain artists would be featured in each individual city, or which ones. Similarly the magazine available at the featured interviews artists and musicians that didn’t appear at the show. The event was proportionally smaller and shitter than I had previously imagined.
However, the highlight of the London show was the art, particularly during the day when the viewers had more room to breathe. Much of the hipstamatic amazement came from the interchanging light installations, which you should expect to soon see appropriated in a nightclub near you. Many loved the triptych by United Visual Artists, three motion sensitive panels of hypnotic light that turned the most diplomatic individuals into fireflies. Similarly the Royal Appointment by Moritz Waldemeyer allowed participants to sit on the chair and change its glowing colour like a mood ring. On a personal note, it was a delight to see again one of Brighton based Felix Thorn’s beautiful machines. On the hour this kinetic sculpture strikes and plays an automated piece of ambient experimental music like a grandfather clock on acid, complete with a flashing LED display. Such a shame this beautiful work was placed in the noisy and well lit reception, rather than a dark and unsuspecting corner where it would have been appreciated for the beauty that it is. The real crowd puller was the triple screening of Spike Jonze’s short film I’m here. Featuring his magical yet bizarre imagination seen in previous filmsBeing John Malcovich and Where The Wild Things Are, this ½ hour film showcased the tender and moving love story of two androids leading an fragile existence.
On reflection it was a bittersweet evening, but it wasn’t until I walked away from the crime scene that I felt the punch of the lack of women featuring the line-up; namely Peaches, a special secret guest complete with broken leg; Rose Dougall, formally of the Pippettes performing with Mark Ronson and Business Intl, and Mira Calix, a visual artist whose work was relegated to smaller screens opposite Karl Sadler’s pining Corridor. But now I am just being picky. Because girls don’t get technology or use it creatively, right girls?